After its third-consecutive Big 12 Conference series victory over Iowa State, the No. 3/3 Oklahoma State softball team hosts No. 20/23 Wichita State for its final home midweek game of the 2023 season.
First pitch against the Shockers is set for 6 p.m. CT at Cowgirl Stadium.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Fans can tune into Oklahoma State's game versus Wichita State on stillwaterradio.net or The Varsity Network with Bill Van Ness on the call.
Live stats for all of Oklahoma State’s games are available online at statbroadcast.com.
Fans can follow @cowgirlsb on Twitter for regular in-game coverage and updates.
In The Rankings
As of April 17, Oklahoma State ranks:
• No. 3 in the NCAA DI Adjusted Rating Percentage Index.
• No. 3 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll.
• No. 3 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25.
• No. 3 in the Softball America NCAA Division I Softball Top 25.
• No. 4 in the D1Softball Top 25.
Oklahoma State From A Distance
Six starters are back from a 2022 Oklahoma State team that put together a 40-win season, which ended at the Women’s College World Series for an NCAA era program record third consecutive year. Five of OSU’s returning starters were also starters on the Cowgirls’ 2021 WCWS team and two of them started for OSU during its 2019 WCWS appearance.
Returning for the Cowgirls are All-Americans Kelly Maxwell and Katelynn Carwile, as well as a pair of graduate veterans and All-Big 12 regulars Chyenne Factor and Kiley Naomi.
Impact newcomers include two-time All-Big Ten honoree and All-American infielder Rachel Becker, All-SEC Newcomer and All-Region pitcher Lexi Kilyfoyl and 2022 NFCA DI Freshman of the Year finalist Megan Bloodworth.
A talented freshman class – including six members of the Extra Inning Softball Elite 100 – enter the mix. Tallen Edwards (No. 3 overall), Haidyn Sokoloski (No. 17 overall) and Kyra Aycock (No. 26 overall) are all likely candidates to see meaningful playing time in their first year with the Cowgirls. Angelina Craig, Katie Lott, Lexi McDonald and Claire Timm round out the 20th ranked signing class in the country, per Extra Inning Softball.
Against the Shockers of Wichita State, the Cowgirls own an 86-15 lead in the all-time series dating back to the first contest between the two schools in 1978.
In his time as the head coach of the Oklahoma State program, Kenny Gajewski owns a 10-7 record versus Wichita State. In games played in Stillwater, Oklahoma State is 40-5 against WSU.
Last time out against the Shockers, on April 4, Wichita State bested OSU in a 8-7 victory at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita, Kansas, to end the Cowgirls' 14-game win streak.
Notable Streaks & Trends
• OSU has been ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll in each of its last 246 games, dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
• OSU has a 10-2 record against top 25 RPI opponents.
• OSU has outscored its opponents 292-89, a +203 run differential.
• OSU has outscored its opponents 65-4 in the first inning.
• OSU has scored first in 33 of its 43 contests this season.
• OSU has committed zero errors in 28 of its 43 games this season.
• OSU has earned 13 of its 39 wins this season via run-rule.
• OSU has claimed 20 of its 39 wins this season by five or more runs.
• OSU has held opponents to five runs or less in 37 of its 43 games this season.
• Rachel Becker has reached base safely at least once in each of the Cowgirls’ 43 games this season.
• Rachel Becker has tallied at least one hit in each of her last 19 games.
• Kelly Maxwell has recorded 163 of the Cowgirls pitching staff's 320 strikeouts this season, which equates to 50.9 percent of Oklahoma State's strikeouts.
With their shutout victory over UT Arlington on April 12, the 2023 Cowgirls set a record for the best 40-game start in program history at 37-3, besting the previous record of 36-4 set by the 1998 Cowgirls.
In its record-breaking 40-game start, Oklahoma State claimed 10 wins over ranked teams, earned 13 of its victories via run rule and won 18 times in shutout fashion.
Built For The Big 12
After grinding through a nonconference slate ranked No. 21 nationally, the reigning Big 12 champion Cowgirls have opened Big 12 play with a series victories against then-No. 20/22 Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State.
Oklahoma State has outscored its Big 12 opponents 45-19 and outhit them 70-50. The Cowgirls' pitching staff boasts a 1.58 team ERA against conference opposition.
Oklahoma State has positioned itself among the elite in 2023, with the numbers to show for it.
As a unit, OSU enters its midweek versus Wichita State with a plethora of top-10 statistical rankings:
• .341 batting average (fifth in NCAA DI).
• .433 on-base percentage (fifth in NCAA DI).
• .984 fielding percentage (second in NCAA DI).
• 18 shutouts (fourth in NCAA DI).
• .907 win percentage (second in NCAA DI).
• 6.79 runs per game (ninth in NCAA DI).
Becker's Batting Bonanza
Graduate infielder Rachel Becker has played at an All-American caliber in her first season at Oklahoma State and the final season of her collegiate career. Her .616on-base percentage leads all NCAA DI hitters, while her .496 batting average ranks fourth in NCAA DI.
Consistency is key to Becker's success at the plate: she has pieced together an 18-game hitting streak from February 11 to March 5 (third-longest in OSU history) and an active 19-game hitting streak dating back to March 17 (second-longest in OSU history).
To The Max
In All-American form, Kelly Maxwell has anchored the Oklahoma State pitching staff in her second year as the Cowgirls' ace.
The redshirt senior lefty leads the Big 12 Conference in hits allowed per seven innings (3.21), saves (5), strikeouts (163) and strikeouts per seven innings (11.6).
For reference, her 163 strikeouts this season is more than 100+ NCAA DI teams.